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McCombs Donations Create New Opportunities in Marketing, Real Estate

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Two recent donations to UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business totaling $7 million promise to open up new opportunities for students and professors in marketing and real estate. In both cases, the gifts will be used to improve the school and advance its programming.

Endowed Chair in Marketing Innovation

A $1 million gift donated by Robert Malcolm, an executive in residence at the Center for Consumer Insight and Marketing Solutions (CCIMS), was used to establish an endowed chair in marketing innovation. The person in this position will focus on advancing marketing offerings at McCombs by recruiting leading marketing academics, creating future-oriented programs, and providing innovative experiential learning opportunities.

In a McCombs Today article, Malcolm spoke about his gift, saying: “Marketing is not a subject that always gets the highest visibility in business schools. I wanted to create a lasting resource and make a statement that marketing is a critical part of the McCombs School. This resource will help the program continue to be at the leading edge of innovation.”

In the same article, Wayne Hoyer, chair of the McCombs Marketing Department, commented that adding an endowed chair focused on marketing innovation will support McCombs in being a thought leader on the subject. It makes the donation more than just a financial investment: It’s also an investment in the next generation of McCombs marketing students and current marketing professionals.

Jay Hartzell, dean of the McCombs School, said, “We are deeply appreciative of his continual support of the school and look forward to working together in the years to come.”

The gift is just one example of Malcolm’s positive influence on McCombs and the field of marketing. As an executive in residence at CCIMS—a center that facilitates interaction between industry, students, and marketing faculty to enhance classroom experiences, enable real-world problem solving, and facilitate research opportunities—Malcolm interacts with business students as a marketing expert.

Malcolm started his career at Procter & Gamble Co., where he worked for 24 years in marketing and general management. Eventually, he became the first global president of marketing, sales, and innovation at Diageo PLC. After 41 years of working on more than 75 brands across 100 countries, Malcolm entered academia.

He spent his first four years at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School before coming to McCombs to serve as an executive in residence in 2013 and as the current chair of the McCombs School’s re-branding committee, which is working to increase the national and international visibility of the school. “This is a continuation of my journey of giving back but with a specific intent to signal and support innovation in marketing and marketers of the future,” Malcolm said.

Expanding Real Estate

Meanwhile, a $6 million donation from billionaire John Goff, CEO of Crescent Real Estate Holdings, will be put toward what McCombs hopes will become the top real estate program in the United States. Specifically, administrators plan to use the funds to attract a leading real estate researcher who will bring thought leadership to the program and help it grow.

In an interview with the Dallas Business Journal, Goff explained his gift. “They have a great program to start with and this will really put them over the top as the No. 1 real estate program in the country. We want to bring in someone not unlike a Kenneth Rosen of Berkeley or someone of that ilk of world-class talent to bring experiential learning to the program of how to manage and invest capital in the public real estate market or private transactions.” McCombs’ real estate program already ranks among the top 10 in the country, according to the U.S. News & World Report peer assessment survey.

One reason for McCombs’ top ranking is the Real Estate Finance and Investment Center (REFIC), which supports interdisciplinary, practical education in real estate. Currently, the center has about 250 active alumni and brings together faculty and top industry professionals to facilitate cutting-edge research and curricula for undergraduate and graduate students.

The McCombs MBA program is also one of the few in the country that offers a real estate concentration tailored for students seeking careers in real estate finance, investment, and development. In fact, it’s these very MBA students who solicited Goff’s gift. In the spring of 2015, Goff was given a feasibility study by a group of real estate finance MBA candidates who had elected to pitch the fund. Hartzell accompanied the students to pitch.

According to Goff, “It was very well thought out and put together for a good presentation. Jay Hartzell, the new dean, has a real passion for real estate that will really make sure the money is going to a good use. His aspiration of the program is similar to mine.”

Goff is a private investor who co-founded Crescent Real Estate Equities in the early ’90s. With Goff at the helm, Crescent grew from approximately $500 million at its IPO to $6.5 billion upon its sale to Morgan Stanley in 2007. In 2009, Goff reacquired Crescent Real Estate, where he now serves as Chairman and CEO. In 2014, he was inducted as a member of McCombs Business School Hall of Fame and was named EY Entrepreneur of the year for the Southwest region in the real estate and construction category.

This post has been republished in its entirety from its original source,